If, like us, you aren’t part of his target audience, you may not particularly like his newspaper. But that does not in any way discount David Penberthy’s showmanlike talent for staging a hugely entertaining tabloid performance every morning, six days a week. The Daily Telegraph is livelier than it has been for years, replete with all the tricks of the tabloid trade that are the great hallmarks of its populist News Corp stablemates in London and New York. We are not talking heavy or serious editorial content here. This is journalism-as-entertainment: a “holy sh-t” big black front page splash, plenty of powerful-figures-rort-the-system inside stories, lots of really cheeky headlines, several pages of juicy celebrity gossip, columnists who (in print) share their readers’ values, dollops of jingoism, pathos, pets and moral indignation, all the news in bite-sized mouthfuls, and a sports section with guts. It may not be for the purists, and it inevitably involves some excessive behaviour and some bad calls (eg. those mythical Indian ANZ call centres) but under David Penberthy’s frenetic guiding hand The Daily Telegraph meets the primary consideration for any tabloid editor: it is almost never dull.

Crikey readers say:

Blunden (Herald Sun), the b-stard, can’t argue with that circulation – Michael Stanley.

2005 Winner: The Bulletin‘s Garry Linnell.